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Exeter City of Sanctuary: Our Data Protection Policy and Privacy NoticeYou can Download both documents by clicking on these links :  

ExCoS Privacy Notice   PDF

ExCoS Data Protection Policy-PDF

 About City of Sanctuary UK (CoS)

 City of Sanctuary Website   

 City of Sanctuary UK Charter-  click here to downloadCharter-July-2017

City of Sanctuary UK -Theory of Change  COS-Theory-of-Change-10-1-20

 City of Sanctuary  Films:

About Exeter City of Sanctuary (ExCoS):

ExCos Constitution – signed July 2016 (pdf)

ExCoS: ‘Key Messages‘ –  Click on this link to download ExCoS KeyMessages

Welcoming sanctuary seekers into our community:

ExCoS: Pledges of Support-  Ideas for Action.  Concrete examples and suggestions of how organisations or individuals can support refugees and help make Exeter a welcoming city.  Download as a PDF here:   Pledges of Support- Ideas for Action

Refugee Action have also produced a general guide on some ways people can assist and welcome a newly arrived refugee they have met.    

Immigration, Asylum, Refugees, -Facts, Figures, and the Meaning of Terms

 There is sometimes confusion about the important differences between the terms ‘refugee’, ‘asylum seeker’ and ‘ migrant.’   See some definitions by clicking  Here  


1.Together With refugees (#TogetherWithrefugees) are a coalition of organisations campaigning for a more compassionate approach to refugees. ExCoS are members of the coalition. Find out more here

2. UN Response to Illegal Migration Bill (2023) and UK Asylum Policy:  .

3. Refugee Council: ‘Understanding the Government’s problematic new asylum bill’- Illegal Migration Bill.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASCs)

Unaccompanied children and young people seeking asylum are supported by Local Authorities (‘looked after’) under the provisions of Children Act 1989. Children can arrive in the UK spontaneously,  through their own efforts (e.g. on lorries, ) or be brought by traffickers etc. Before Brexit, arrangements could be made by the Home Office for very vulnerable unaccompanied children in the EU to be relocated to the UK under either the ‘Dubs’ Amendment or the Family Reunion (Dublin 111 EU regulation)  schemes. This option no longer exists as legal and safe routes have been closed.

 1. Services: UASCs

  • Refugee Council’s national Independent Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Support Service:  (IUASC)  See what services they offer Here .                                                                                                  Professionals can call their advice line on 020 7346 1134 or email  [email protected] 

If you are an unaccompanied child you can call freephone advice number on 0808 175 3499

  •  Local Authority Children’s departments:  For Devon Children and Families ring  0345 155 1078.

 2. Devon County Council Guides:  

UASC: A Guide for Foster Carers:

UASC: Supporting in School, DCC:

3, UASC-Training for carers :

Future Learn: Caring for Children Moving Alone.

The Foster Care Training Hub offers general and country specific training- e.g Afghanistan. Iran.

  Work in Schools and Schools of Sanctuary Award

A List of books by and/or about refugees which are appropriate for children/young people:                                                                        click here to download     A_selection_of_books_about_asylum_se1  (pdf)

rafi+friends -Hopes & Dreams Project: connecting refugee children with UK school children through their hopes and dreams. See here:

 The City of Sanctuary website has a lot of resources and examples of current work being undertaken in their Sanctuary in Schools stream :


See City of Sanctuary  website  ‘Destitution’:

CoS also hosts ‘Asylum Matters’ who campaign nationally on destitution and homelessness among asylum seekers and refugees in the UK  .

  • The British Red Cross and Refugee Action (  are  very involved in supporting asylum seekers and refugees experiencing destitution. Their research reveals destitution is becoming an increasingly widespread problem and is on the rise. Read more here
  • NACCOM, the UK’s national No Accommodation Network, represents a network of organisations seeking to prevent destitution among migrants with No recourse to Public Funds. Member organisations provide accommodation and support to asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable migrants,
  • Locally ‘Refugee Support Devon‘ (RSD Ltd) provides emergency assistance to destitute asylum seekers and refugees.(

Detention:  Immigration Detention in the UK.

Every year, nearly  30,000 people are detained under immigration control  –  frequently for administrative convenience, while a decision on permission to enter the country is made, or prior to their removal or deportation. In recent years the numbers detained have been falling.

In reality, a huge majority of those detained are ultimately released back into the UK community, and it raises questions as to what  purpose their detention served? There is growing research as to it’s  damaging effects on the health and welfare for detainees.

The UK is unique in Europe in not having a time limit on detention. Indefinite detention causes anxiety, stress and can exacerbate existing mental health issues.

Migrants can be held indefinitely in detention on the authority of Home Office civil servants without going before a judge, even if they have committed no crime Find out the facts about Detention by looking at some of these sites:

  1. Detention Forum:  A coalition of lead campaigning groups working nationally for reform on issues of detention.
  2. Detention Action:                                                                                                   Detention Action support people held  in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres, near Heathrow Airport in London. They also campaign for changes to UK Immigration law-and particularly for an end to Indefinite Detention. They run the Time4aTimeLimit’ campaign.
  3. AVID:  This organisation  gives information about, and supports, the different befriender and visitors’ groups who visit detainees in Centres across the UK.
  4. City of Sanctuary’s resources on Detention.:

Video: ‘Injustice in Immigration Detention 2017’: The Bar Council of England and Wales


The panel’s broad conclusions included the following:
‘ We believe that the UK uses detention disproportionately and inappropriately. When compared with other countries, we detain more than most other European countries and for longer. This practice cannot be justified based on the number of applications we receive to remain in the UK, or on evidence that it enables us effectively to persuade those who are refused leave to remain to leave the country.

The system is hugely costly to the tax-payer and seriously detrimental to the individuals we detain in terms of their mental and physical well-being.’  All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration
Introducing a maximum time limit on the length of detention
• Providing for automatic judicial oversight of decisions to detain
• Exploring alternatives to immigration detention, such as community-based case management approaches, learning from

Panorama, Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets

A very disturbing documentary and deeply uncomfortable viewing. It documents an undercover investigation into Brook House, one of the UK’s 13 Immigration Removal with very serious allegations of abuse by staff.